Devices and Desires Summary
For James, the detective story is a twentieth-century morality play, and in her novels she deals with moral problems that confront society. Devices and Desires is set in the remote Norfolk headland called Larksoken, the site of a fictional nuclear power station. The threat of contamination from the station is ever-present, and one of the characters, Neil Pascoe, has mounted a one-man campaign, PANUP, against the dangers of nuclear power. His efforts do not have much success, but his arguments reflect many present-day concerns.
The question of terrorism enters into James's concerns. Carolyn Amphlett, the competent secretary, who does not wish to accompany Alex Mair to London, is in reality a member of a terrorist group. Her move to escape with Amy Camm is treated rather melodramatically, and the two perish in their attempt to outwit other terrorists. This treatment, criticized in many reviews...
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Devices and Desires Short Guide
P. D. James Biographies (4)
1,646 words, approx. 6 pages
The British author P(hyllis) D(orothy) James (born 1920) wrote in the tradition of the British crime storyteller, but her extensive explorations of relationships, motivations, and meanings of justice ...
12,494 words, approx. 42 pages
Biography EssayThe coming-of-age of a mature crime fiction in England, to which P. D. James has contributed prominently, can be attributed to a variety of disparate causes: the rapid changes in a soci...
11,997 words, approx. 40 pages
[This entry was updated by Ann Sanders Cargill (Columbia, S.C.) from the entry by Bernard Benstock (University of Miami) in the Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, volume 8, pp. 180-199....
5,028 words, approx. 17 pages
P. D. James is the inheritor of some of the most distinguished literary mantles in popular fiction, those previously worn by detective-story writers who achieved near perfection in their craft. James'...